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Countdown to 2012 LifeSmarts National event is on!

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Personal finance iconEighteen years in, and NCL’s LifeSmarts program is still going strong, successfully doing what it set out to do all those years ago: shine a spotlight on consumer education, provide a fun, meaningful competition for students and educators, and teach us all something in the process. The countdown to this year's national event in Philadelphia has begun, so if you aren't familiar yet with the exciting, engaging program, here's your chance to learn more.

LifeSmarts focuses on five key areas of consumer knowledge: personal finance, consumer rights and responsibilities, health and safety, technology and the environment. Within a single program year, teen participants learn about everything from using credit wisely to online safety and fraud – using content that is developed and updated using the latest theories in education.

Strong partnerships with state coordinators, financial sponsors, numerous volunteers, and most importantly thousands of educators who coach LifeSmarts teams, have helped NCL provide the LifeSmarts experience to hundreds of thousands of students.

Through LifeSmarts, students are empowered with real-world knowledge that they take with them into adulthood – as one recent competitor said in summing up the program, “LifeSmarts really made me think about some of the things I will have to deal with as soon as I graduate and become independent.” A coach added, “LifeSmarts arms students with knowledge that will be 100 percent relevant to their lives as adults. And the students know that, and feel more confident about their decisions and their futures.”

LifeSmarts competitors begin the program online at, where students use TeamSmarts, the virtual lessons in LifeSmarts U, the many resources and links, and most exhaustively, a database of thousands of questions to practice and quiz themselves and their teammates. Teams advance to state competitions and the winners at the state level prepare to compete against the best teams in the country for four days at the National LifeSmarts Championship.

Speed dating with the Experts, Financial Football and 75 buzzer matches will all be part of the excitement at the National LifeSmarts Championship in Philadelphia next month. Follow the action on the LifeSmarts Facebook page, Twitter feed, and LifeSmarts event blog. The semifinals and final match on April 24 will also be streamed live from Join NCL, the LifeSmarts coaches, and all of the program’s partners in celebrating consumer savvy youth.